ANUSH f Armenian
Means "sweet" in Armenian. This was the name of an 1890 novel by the Armenia writer Hovhannes Tumanyan. It was adapted into an opera in 1912 by Armen Tigranian.
ANWAR m Arabic
Means "brighter, more luminous" in Arabic. This name was borne by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat (1918-1981), who was assassinated three years after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire". This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 葵 (aoi)
meaning "hollyhock, althea" or an adjectival form of 碧 (ao)
meaning "green, blue". Other kanji with the same reading can form this name as well.
AOIBHEANN f Irish
Means "beautiful sheen" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of the mother of Saint Enda. It was also borne by Irish royalty.
AOIDE f Greek Mythology
Means "song" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "beauty" from the Gaelic word aoibh
. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. In war against her sister Scathach, she was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn
. Eventually she was reconciled with her sister and became the lover of Cúchulainn. This name is sometimes used as a Gaelic form of EVE
AONGHUS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength" derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
APHRA f Various
Meaning uncertain; possibly a variant of AFRA (1)
, or possibly a variant of Aphrah
, a biblical place name meaning "dust". This name was born by the English writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689).
APHRODITE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, equal to the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with αφρος (aphros)
"foam", resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea.
APOLLINAIRE m French (Rare)
French form of APOLLINARIS
. It was adopted as a surname by the Polish-French poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), who based it on his Polish middle name Apolinary.
APOLLINARIS m Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek name derived from the name of the god APOLLO
. This was the name of several early saints and martyrs, including a bishop of Ravenna and a bishop of Hierapolis.
APOLLO m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Απολλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
"strength". Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion" or "father light". The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
APOLLONIOS m Ancient Greek
From an ancient Greek personal name which was derived from the name of the Greek god APOLLO
. It was borne by a Greek poet of the 3rd century BC. Several saints have also had this name.
APPHIA f Biblical
Greek form of a Hebrew name which possibly meant "increasing". This is a name mentioned in Paul
's epistle to Philemon
in the New Testament.
APPIUS m Ancient Roman
This was a Roman praenomen, or given name, used predominantly by the Claudia family. Its etymology is unknown. A famous bearer of this name was Appius Claudius Caecus, a Roman statesman of the 3rd century BC. He was responsible for the Aqua Appia (the first Roman aqueduct) and the Appian Way (a road between Rome and Capua), both of which were named for him.
APRIL f English
From the name of the month, probably originally derived from Latin aperire
"to open", referring to the opening of flowers. It has only been commonly used as a given name since the 1940s.
AQIL m Arabic
Means "intelligent, wise" in Arabic. This transcription represents two different Arabic names.
ARA m Armenian, Armenian Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Sumerian origin. In Armenian legend this was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him. During the war Ara was slain.
ARABELLA f English
Medieval Scottish name, probably a variant of ANNABEL
. It has long been associated with Latin orabilis
ARACELI f Spanish
Means "altar of the sky" from Latin ara
"altar" and coeli
"sky". This is an epithet of the Virgin Mary
in her role as the patron saint of Lucena, Spain.
ARACHNE f Greek Mythology
Means "spider" in Greek. In Greek myth Arachne was a mortal woman who defeated Athena
in a weaving contest. After this Arachne hanged herself, but Athena brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
ARAGORN m Literature
Meaning unexplained, though the first element is presumably Sindarin ara
"noble, kingly". This is the name of a character in 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien. In the book Aragorn is the heir of the Dúnedain kings of the north.
ARAMINTA f English (Rare)
Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by William Congreve in his comedy 'The Old Bachelor' (1693) and later by Sir John Vanbrugh in his comedy 'The Confederacy' (1705). This was the real name of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), who was born Araminta Ross.
ARAMIS m Literature
The surname of one of the musketeers in 'The Three Musketeers' (1844) by Alexandre Dumas. Dumas based the character on Henri d'Aramitz, whose surname was derived from the French village of Aramits.
ARAN (1) f & m Irish
From the name of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
ARANTZAZU f Basque
From the name of a place near the Spanish town of Oñati where there is a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. Its name is derived from Basque arantza
ARARAT m Armenian
From the name of a mountain in eastern Turkey (formerly part of Armenia), the place where Noah
's Ark came to rest according to the Old Testament.
ARASH m Persian, Persian Mythology
Possibly means either "truthfulness" or "bright" in Persian. In Persian legend Arash was a Persian archer who was ordered by the Turans to shoot an arrow, the landing place of which would determine the new location of the Persian-Turan border. Arash climbed a mountain and fired his arrow with such strength that it flew for several hours and landed on the banks of the far-away Oxus River.
ARATA m Japanese
From Japanese 新 (arata)
meaning "fresh, new". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARAX f Armenian
From the name of a river (also called the Aras) which flows through Armenia.
ARCADIA f Various
Feminine form of ARCADIUS
. This is the name of a region on the Greek Peloponnese, long idealized for its natural beauty.
ARCHER m English
From an English surname meaning "bowman, archer", of Old French origin.
ARCHIBALD m Scottish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements ercan
"genuine" and bald
"bold". The first element was altered due to the influence of Greek names beginning with the element αρχος (archos)
meaning "master". The Normans brought this name to England. It first became common in Scotland in the Middle Ages.
ARDA m Turkish
Possibly means "marker, stake" in Turkish.
ARDASHIR m Persian
From the Middle Persian form of Artakhshathra
). This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Persia who defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanid Empire. He also established Zoroastrianism as the state religion.
ARDEN m & f English
From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning "high".
ARDGHAL m Irish
Means "high valour", derived from the Irish elements ard
"high" and gal
ARELI m Biblical
Means "lion of God, hero" in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Gad in the Old Testament.
ARES m Greek Mythology
Perhaps from either Greek αρη (are)
"bane, ruin" or αρσην (arsen)
"male". Ares was the blood-thirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARETAS m Biblical
Greek form of an Aramaic name, of unknown meaning. This was the name of four Nabataean kings of Petra in Jordan, including the first king (2nd century BC). King Aretas IV is mentioned briefly in the New Testament.
ARETHA f English
Possibly derived from Greek αρετη (arete)
meaning "virtue". This name was popularized in the 1960s by American singer Aretha Franklin (1942-).
ARGIDER m Basque
Derived from Basque argi
"light" and eder
ARGUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αργος (Argos)
, derived from αργος (argos)
meaning "glistening, shining". In Greek myth this name belonged to both the man who built the Argo and a man with a hundred eyes.
ARIA f English
Means "song" or "melody" in Italian (literally means "air"). An aria is an elaborate vocal solo, the type usually performed in operas. As an English name, it has only been in use since the 20th century. It is not common in Italy.
ARIADNE f Greek Mythology
Means "most holy", composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari)
"most" and αδνος (adnos)
"holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel" or "round wheel" in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARIDAI m Biblical
Meaning unknown, possibly of Persian origin. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the ten sons of Haman killed by the Jews.
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).
ARIES m Roman Mythology
Means "ram" in Latin. This is the name of a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac. Some Roman legends state that the ram in the constellation was the one who supplied the Golden Fleece sought by Jason
ARISTA f Astronomy
Means "ear of corn" in Latin. This is the name of a star, also known as Spica, in the constellation Virgo.
ARISTOTLE m Ancient Greek (Anglicized)
From the Greek name Αριστοτελης (Aristoteles)
which meant "the best purpose", derived from αριστος (aristos)
"best" and τελος (telos)
"purpose, aim". This was the name of a Greek philosopher of the 4th century BC who made lasting contributions to Western thought, including the fields of logic, metaphysics, ethics and biology.
ARJA f Finnish
Variant of IRJA
. The Finnish poet Eino Leino used it in his poem 'Arja and Selinä' (1916), though belonging to a male character.
ARJUNA m Hinduism
Means "white, clear" in Sanskrit. This is the name of a hero in Hindu texts, the son of the god Indra
and the princess Kunti.
ARKADIOS m Ancient Greek
From an ancient Greek name meaning "of Arcadia". Arcadia was a region in Greece, its name deriving from αρκτος (arktos)
"bear". This was the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr.
ARKADIY m Russian
Russian form of ARKADIOS
. This is the name of one of the main characters in Ivan Turgenev's 'Fathers and Sons' (1862).
ARKE m Frisian
Originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element arn
ARLIE f & m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "eagle wood" in Old English. This name can also be a diminutive of ARLENE
ARLINE f English
Meaning unknown, possibly invented by Michael William Balfe for the main character in his opera 'The Bohemian Girl' (1843).
ARLO m English
Meaning uncertain. It was perhaps inspired by the fictional place name Arlo Hill from the poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590) by Edmund Spenser. Spenser probably got Arlo by altering the real Irish place name Aherlow, which is Gaelic meaning "between two highlands".
ARLOTTO m Medieval Italian
Medieval Italian name, recorded in Latin as Arlotus
. It is possibly from Old French herlot
meaning "vagabond, tramp".
ARMAN m Kazakh
Means "dream" in Kazakh, of Persian origin.
ARMAS m Finnish
Means "beloved" in Finnish (an archaic poetic word).
ARMEL m French
From the old Welsh name Arthfael
, which was composed of the elements arth
"bear" and mael
"prince". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who founded abbeys in Brittany.
ARMIDA f Italian, Spanish
Probably created by the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso for his epic poem 'Jerusalem Delivered' (1580). In the poem Armida is a beautiful enchantress who bewitches many of the crusaders.
ARMIDE f Literature
French form of ARMIDA
. This is the name of operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully (in 1686) and Christoph Willibald Gluck (in 1777), both of which were based on 'Jerusalem Delivered' by Torquato Tasso.
ARMINIUS m Ancient Germanic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Germanic name which was probably derived from the element ermen
meaning "whole, universal". Other theories claim that it is related to HERMAN
. Arminius was a 1st-century ruler of the Cherusci who led a rebellion against the Roman Empire.
ARNFINN m Norwegian
Norwegian form of Arnfinnr
, which was derived from the elements arn
"eagle" and Finnr
"Sámi, person from Finland".
ARNOLD m English, German, Ancient Germanic
From a Germanic name meaning "eagle power", derived from the elements arn
"eagle" and wald
"power". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Earnweald
. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century.... [more]
ÁRPÁD m Hungarian
From Hungarian árpa
meaning "barley". This was the name of a 9th-century Magyar ruler who led his people into Hungary. He is considered a Hungarian national hero.
ARRAN m Scottish
From the name of an island off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde.
ARSENIOS m Ancient Greek
Means "virile" in Greek. Saint Arsenius was a 5th-century deacon who was tutor to the two sons of Roman emperor Theodosius. The two sons, Arcadius and Honorius, divided the empire into eastern and western halves upon their father's death.
ARTEMIDOROS m Ancient Greek
Means "gift of Artemis" from the name of the goddess ARTEMIS
combined with Greek δωρον (doron)
"gift". This was the name of a Greek author of the 2nd century who wrote about the interpretation of dreams.
ARTEMIOS m Ancient Greek
From an ancient Greek name which was derived from the name of the Greek goddess ARTEMIS
. This was the name of a 4th-century general in the Roman army who is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church.
ARTEMISIA f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of ARTEMISIOS
. This was the name of the 4th-century BC builder of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the world. She built it in memory of her husband, the Carian prince Mausolus.
ARTHIT m Thai
Means "sun" in Thai, derived from the name of the Hindu god ADITYA
ARTHUR m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos
"bear" combined with viros
"man" or rigos
"king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius
. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.... [more]